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Psyc 101 taste and smell Cheat Sheet by

Sensation and perception Of taste and smell in psychology

Sensing sound

Pure tone:
A simple wave that consists of regularly altern­ating regions of higher and lower air pressure.
The sound wave depends on how often the peak in air pressure passes the ear or microp­hone, measured in cycles per second.
How high or low a sound is.
Sound wave refers to its intensity, relative to the threshold for human hearing. It’s perceived as loudness.
Sound waves or the mixture of freque­ncies influenced by perception of timbre.
The quality of sound that allows you to distin­guish two sources with the same pitch and loudness.

How we experience taste

When you bite into something, molecules dissolve in fluid on your tongue.
They are received by taste receptors in taste buds on your tongue and in your mouth and throat.
Pathway to the brain:
The taste buds transmits the single along a cranial nerve, through the thalamus to other areas of your brain.
Perceiving taste:
- Individual differ­ences in taste percep­tion:
~ Super-­tasters
~ Non tasters
~ Learning, culture and experi­ences
- Many portions of what we commonly think of as taste actually comes from the sense of smell
- 5 basic tastes:
~ Salt, sour, bitter, sweet, savoury (umami)

Outer ear funnels:

- the outer ear collects sound waves and funnels them towards the middle ear
- the middle ear transmits the vibrations to the inner ear
- the inner ear is where they are transduce into neural impulses
- the middle of the ear behind the eardrum contains three small bones called ossicles
- the outer area of the ear is called the pinna

Sensing touch

- touch receptors under the skins surface enable us to sense pain, pressure, texture, patterns or vibrations
- stimuli: registers the temper­ature and pressure
- receptors: temper­ature and pressure in your skin transmit that signal
- pathway to the brain: along the cranial nerve through the thalamus to the area of the somato­sensory cortex that processes the body parts that were touched

Food perception

- A multi sensory involving taste, smell and texture.
- learned prefer­ences in food are important in determ­ining flavour and taste experi­ences dramat­ically vary widely across indivi­duals

Sound into neural impulses

A fluid-­filled tube containing cells that transduce sound vibrations into neural impulses.
Basilar membrane:
A structure in the inner ear that moves up and down in time with the vibrations relayed from the ossicles.
Travelling wave:
The up and down movement that sound causes in the basilar membrane.
Inner hair cells:
Specia­lized auditory receptor neurons embedded in the basilar membrane.


The body senses are referred to as the somato­senses
Haptic percep­tion:
Active explor­ation of the enviro­nment by touching and grasping objects with our hands.

Body position

Sense of the body position.
Vestibular system:
Three fluid-­filled semici­rcular canals and adjacent organs located next to the cochlea in each inner ear; used with visual feedback to maintain balance.

Neural impulses to the brain

- Action potentials in the auditory nerve travel to several regions of the brain stem in turn.
- Cerebral called area A1 - there is some evidence that the auditory cortex is composed of two distinct streams. Roughly analogous to the dorsal and ventral streams of the visual system.
~ Area A1: the primary auditory cortex in the temporal lobe

Sensation to perception

Pressure waves in the cochlea move the basilar membrane stimul­ating the sensory receptors called hair cells.
When the hair cells bend, they convert the pressure waves into signals that are sent to the brain by the auditory nerve.
The auditory nerve carries the neural signal first to the thalamus and then to the primary auditory cortex, which processes your perception of the sound.


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